Women’s and Gender Studies

Masculinities and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

Dylan Barth, Lecturer

Course: WGS 192, Sem 002
Class Number: 24084
Credits: 3 HU
Time: MW 3:30 – 4:45
Place: NWQ 1935

Course Description

In this course, we will discuss varying ways that gender is constructed in select American post-apocalyptic texts, focusing primarily on the depiction of masculinities as they have been historically situated. Many post-apocalyptic novels subscribe to a common theme: modern culture—particularly consumer culture and its relation to domesticity—is to blame for the emasculation of contemporary men. The remedy for this masculinity crisis often comes in the form of post-apocalyptic fantasy landscapes in which “men can be men.” What masculinity looks like under these conditions varies historically, so this course will progress from 1945 to the present to examine ways in which gender plays out in post-apocalyptic fiction of differing cultural contexts. In addition, the course will introduce students to feminist theories, men’s studies, and speculative fiction as literature.

Cole Thomas, Destruction - The Course of Empire Destruction, 1836

Destruction from The Course of Empire, Cole Thomas, 1836 (New York Historical Society)

Work Involved

  • In-Class Activities (25%)
  • Online Quizzes (10%)
  • Reading Responses (20%)
  • Course Assignments (25%)
  • Final Project (20%)

About the Instructor

Dylan Barth earned his Ph.D. in English from UWM with a focus on masculinities, primitivism, and post-apocalyptic fiction in American literature since 1945. In addition to teaching, Dylan works as a Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at UWM, where he provides pedagogical support and assistance to other campus instructors.